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The Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto (Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos) [Paperback]

Kevin Schilbrack

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Book Description

14 Feb 2014 1444330535 978-1444330533 1
Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto  advocates a radical transformation of the discipline from its current, narrow focus on questions of God, to a fully global form of critical reflection on religions in all their variety and dimensions. Opens the discipline of philosophy of religion to the religious diversity that characterizes the world today Builds bridges between philosophy of religion and the other interpretative and explanatory approaches in the field of religious studies Provides a manifesto for a global approach to the subject that is a practice–centred rather than a belief–centred activity Gives attention to reflexive critical studies of ′religion′ as socially constructed and historically located

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“Schilbrack’s important book proposes a transformation of the philosophy of religion which would, if taken seriously, remove its vices while preserving its virtues. He shows, with panache, that the insularity and intellectualism of the field can be overcome by extending its range to include nonwestern and nontheistic forms of religion, and by attending as much to practice as to belief. And he does this without compromising the seriousness of religious claims to truth. It’s a considerable achievement.” — Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Chair Catholic Theology, Duke University “This book is much–needed and long overdue. Kevin Schilbrack is concerned with a set of controversies that have agitated the field of religious studies for the past generation and more – controversies in which both the proper shape and very legitimacy of the field have seemed to be at stake. Patiently and thoroughly, Schilbrack works through these and sets out a series of robust and well–argued answers. The book not only articulates a program for philosophy of religion, but also displays that program in operation.” — Andrew Dole, Amherst College --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

The knowledge we share of the world is growing and its boundaries shrinking, and consequently the field of religious studies is developing and changing as we become more familiar with the variety of religions across the globe in the twenty–first century. It is within this context of growth that Schilbrack provides a rallying call for a long–overdue transformation of the philosophy of religion. He argues for a shift from its current narrow focus on questions of God – primarily of interest to Christian theologians – to one providing a fully global critical reflection on religions in all their variety and dimensions. The time has come to shed the restrictive nature of traditional philosophy of religion, and open the discipline to the religious diversity that characterizes the world today. This is a manifesto for a philosophy of religion centered on the study of how religions are lived and practiced rather than an imposition of a set of intellectual values. It advocates a cross–cultural approach, not limited to questions of classical monotheism, but one in conversation with other fields of religious study. Philosophy of religion was invented in the Enlightenment and reflected the Eurocentric understanding of the world in that day; this manifesto persuasively argues that the discipline now needs reinventing in order to function in, and reflect our present, more complicated world.

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